Take a walk on the wild side, Kedleston's Wilderness Walk

a view of the wilder side of kedleston, the wilderness walk

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Kedleston’s parkland the Wilderness is our top place for wildlife spotting. It’s a perfect adventure alternative during the chaos of resurfacing works on the long walk path. From some of the oldest veteran trees in Derbyshire, delicate summer wildflowers, a flourish of autumn colour to a winter adventure it’s the path less trodden and definitely one of our favourites.

Kedleston's Wilderness walk takes you across the beautiful Adam Bridge and into a wilder side of Kedleston. Follow the banks of the lake and into the lesser explored parts of our parkland. You might even meet our small herd of dexter cows who help us to look after this more rough and ready area. Over the coming weeks we'll be adding some special new additions to show you the way so be sure to keep your eyes peeled...

Why not listen along with our podcast series?
wilderness walking map at kedleston

A walk for all seasons...as long as you don't mind muddy boots!

This route is always a hit in the summer months but it has so much to offer all year round! The variety of trees means a fabulous display of autumn colour and plenty of winter wildlife. The path is however not hardstanding so can get very muddy after periods of wet weather. But don't let that put you off, after all is that not what welly boots are for?

Parkland conservation gone digital

There’s so much that makes this part of the parkland special as well as the fact it's a recognised site of special scientific interest (SSSI). To celebrate what the Wilderness has to offer we’ve recorded a series of educational podcasts exploring everything from parkland management to woodland ecology. You can either listen before you visit and look out for the special features or why not download them from soundcloud to your mobile or tablet prior to your visit and listen as you explore the trail.

Don't have soundcloud?

Don't worry, all of our podcasts are available to stream in video format via our youtube channel here

wilderness walk podcast cover photo

An 8 part podcast series

Now available to download from soundcloud! You can listen along as conservation experts and rangers guide you along the trail and explore the wilderness. Find the best vantage points or simply just listen at home to learn more about the work we do to look after this special place.

What about little adventurers?

The podcast series is aimed at adults but don't worry there's plenty for the little ones to look at. The Wilderness is a fantastic place to look for wildlife and tick off a few of your 50 things activities. Over the coming weeks you'll start to see some very special creatures appearing along the route in the form of our new sculpted way markers. The sculptures are all inspired by the animals we are lucky enough to have living in the wilderness. They are a great way to get children thinking about different habitats and who might live there!

Keep an eye out for our new wilderness way markers
one of our new owl way markers

Sustainable sculpting

The new sculptures that Andrew has been creating are crafted from wood from fallen trees around the estate which would other wise have been left as deadwood or logged as firewood. These special works of art aren't just for show, they'll act as way markers to guide you along the route.

Andrew Frost wood sculptor working his magic
Wood sculptor Andrew Frost carving our new way markers

 In time, the sculptures will become habitats themselves as they begin to decay just the same as any other deadwood. You'll notice as you wander through the wilderness that there are far more fallen trees and deadwood than elsewhere in the parkland. We intentionally leave it to create habitats for insects and other rare invertebrates. 

A ranger's job is never done!
rangers collecting fallen wood with a tractor

Ditch the paper

Although we can provide walking maps at visitor reception why not download a digital version? It's far better for the environment but also minimises the rise of any accidental littter in the parkland. 

Kedleston Hall's walking trails (PDF / 3.8740234375MB) download